Nanoparticle-functionalized microcapsules for delivery and sensing in the context of health and medicine applications
Prof. Wolfgang Parak, Fachbereich Physik, Universität Marburg
Inorganic nanoparticles such as magnetic nanoparticles, fluorescent quantum dots, and plasmonic nanoparticles can be used as building blocks for designing multifunctional systems based on polymeric capsules. The properties of the inorganic nanoparticles hereby are harnessed to provide additional functionality to the polymer capsules. Biological applications towards sensing and delivery are discussed. Examples will be given in which magnetic nanoparticles are used to direct capsules with magnetic field gradients, colloidal quantum dots are used to identify capsules via the formation of optical barcodes, and gold nanoparticles are used as light-controlled heat-sources for opening capsules and releasing macromolecules from their cavity upon optical excitation. This demonstrates that combination of inorganic nanoparticles and organic / polymeric molecules as carrier matrices allow for tailoring multifunctional hybrid particles for practical applications.